Why is KFC so popular in China

Fast food in Germany and China - almost everyone agrees when it comes to pizza

Anyone looking for fast food in Germany will usually find several providers to choose from not only in the city center, but also in train stations or highways. The offer is dominated by large, international chains. The situation is similar in China. Western chains have established themselves here and pizza in particular is very popular. Does that mean that local traditions will die out?

Burger restaurants such as McDonalds and Burger King are represented nationwide in Germany, and oversized sandwiches from Subway or various dishes based on chicken, such as those offered by Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), are in demand. During the lunch break in Germany's inner cities you can meet crowds of office workers in the China snack bar. The dishes served there, from fried noodles with all sorts of ingredients to meat and tofu dishes, are considered a full meal together with rice, are freshly prepared in front of the customers and are also inexpensive. In the meantime, Thai dishes and sushi have also been added to the menu.

Chinese food in Germany

Travelers from China are wondering what is served as Chinese cuisine in Germany. In some large cities such as Berlin and Cologne there are now a few authentic restaurants, some of which are rarely visited by Germans. Usually the crispy chicken or duck pieces in a spicy sauce that are served in Germany don't have much in common with the diverse specialties in China. This is because the restaurant and snack bar operators have adapted the dishes to suit the German palate. A fate that also happened to the popular doner kebab. The original Turkish flatbread is only filled with grilled meat, a little tomato and lettuce. In Germany, other types of lettuce, peppers, sheep cheese and a spicy garlic sauce are also packed in the bread bag.

Pizza is the Germans' favorite fast food

The fast food preferences of Germans are not as high in calories as it appears at first glance. Because a salad with turkey breast or mozzarella and grilled chicken are right at the top of the list of popular fast food dishes in Germany. Pizza, however, occupies a special position. The fast food that Germans have loved for decades can be eaten on the fly in passing, but also with a good glass of wine in the restaurant. Not to forget that the Germans are among the world champions when it comes to ordering pizza. There is a boom in delivery services, especially on Sundays, because then Germans love to sit on the sofa, eat a pizza and watch a good movie. According to online surveys, the salami pizza is one of the most popular types.

Pizza has also conquered China

Pizza came to China relatively late. The international giant Pizza Hut only opened its first restaurant in 1990 in the Middle Kingdom and expanded from 2000, similar to Domino’s Pizza. While Domino’s offered the usual international range of products, Pizza Hut had previously carried out extensive research into the taste and fast-food habits of the Chinese. This is the main reason why Pizza Hut operated over 1,300 branches in China in 2014, while Domino’s only had just under 40. Another point why Domino’s did not achieve a breakthrough in the Chinese market was the focus on takeaways of giant pizzas and delivery service. Chinese traffic rarely allows for on-time delivery, and consumers have a habit of either enjoying small bites while walking or sitting comfortably in a restaurant.

Creations for the Chinese market

Many traditional dishes in China already fall into the fast food category. But the market launch of the pizza had to contend with completely different problems than just the local competition. Cheese is not a traditional food and many Chinese just don't like it or have digestive problems. Tomatoes are also not an ingredient in local cuisine. Pizza Hut took up the challenge and experimented with tuna, crab sticks, soy sauce, chicken, and corn. In the end there were new pizza creations for the Chinese market, which triggered the first run on the new fast food.

Demand for cheese is increasing in China

But here, too, there is a trend reversal. For many Chinese, the pizza, which originally came from Italy, is a typical American dish. The result is the desire for the original with a lot of cheese. Experts expect that the demand for mozzarella will increase by more than 20 percent in the next few years. At the same time, the local fast food culture is being redefined. Chinese providers, who initially fell into a kind of paralysis due to the expansion of the western chains, are currently catching up. The reason: You are now able to guarantee the standardized, consistent quality of western fast food, but the experience of eating reflects the Chinese way of life. Danian Dumpling is just as well known as McDonalds and KFC.

more on the subject

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Is China's Culture a Food Culture? Or: do the Chinese really eat everything?

Image sources: Pixabay (1 & 2)

Category: Chinese CuisineTags: Chinese Cuisine, Fast Food in China, Fast Food in Germany